Conservative MEPs will continue to oppose overly prescriptive measures affecting UK ports

Los Angeles

Dr Kay Swinburne and her Conservative MEP colleagues will continue to oppose measures they say threaten to turn back the clock at ports in Wales and across the rest of the UK.

The European Parliament today voted to approve a proposal on port services legislation primarily designed to address restrictive practices at many EU ports, the majority of which are still state-owned. However, attempts to exempt the UK's predominantly privately-run ports from the regulation were unsuccessful today.

The report will now be subject to negotiations between the Parliament, Member State Transport Ministers and the European Commission.

Conservative MEPs are particularly concerned that the proposal as drafted by the EP Transport committee will impose more bureaucracy on small Welsh and UK ports and be too restrictive on those operating specialist services.

Dr Kay Swinburne, Welsh Conservative MEP said: "I am very disappointed that our sensible proposals which recognised the unique status of British ports were not supported.

"Our ports are some of the most successful in the world and the major ports we have here in Wales make a vital contribution to our economy and provide stable, high quality jobs.

"I will not support anything that would jeopardise this success. I believe competition between ports, not prescriptive regulation on their internal operations, is a greater driver of efficiency." "I hope that when this goes to trilogue, the UK and the European Council as a whole, will hold its line, in order to ensure a proportionate regulation for our ports that recognises the competitive nature of our operators."